The Travel Blogs – Warwick Castle Part 2 – 28th September 2019

Once we had moved on from the river and the falconry display rather than headed back down towards the castle and the central courtyard we headed over to the Peacock Garden and the Conservatory. The Peacock garden was so pretty. It felt like a completely different world as opposed to being down by the river and the castle.

The garden was one of those pretty gardens with flower beds with those little bushes that surround them. It had the little gravel paths that weaved between the flower beds. As we walked through we managed to see one peacock just strolling around. I find it funny they don’t even care if you walk up to them. They are just strutting around, minding their own business.

In the centre of the garden was this huge pond with a fountain in the centre. It looked beautiful with the conservatory behind it. Very Pride and Prejudice or one of those period tv shows. Luckily Bella was sat in her pram so I didn’t have to worry about her trying to dive head first into the pool. I swear that child is just drawn to water.

I was having a bit of an issue trying to push Bella’s pram across the gravel. I hate the front wheels on her Babiie, they just have a mind of their own. I forced the wheels through the gravel and we made it to the grass. That made my life so much easier.

As we made our way closer to the Conservatory we found a group of peacocks in one of the flower beds. It was funny because it was actually hard to see them. All the blues and greens blended in so well with the bushes. Bella wasn’t too thrilled about the peacocks. I think she was slightly over the day at the moment. We were in the process of getting some lunch. Hopefully that was going to cheer Bella up.

We had to struggle up some more steps with the pram to get into the actual building. Leanne and I struggled to lift this thing with Bella in it. Luckily a nice man came and helped us out and helped me carry the pram up the steps to the patio of the building.

We went into the Conservatory and found a table in the window. It was lovely and sunny outside but a bit chilly. The Conservatory had these huge glass windows and a glass roof, so it was like a giant greenhouse.

Leanne sat with Bella while I went and ordered mine and Bella’s lunch. The little cafe inside the Conservatory was one of those cafes linked with Costa, so not an official Costa but their coffee and tea were Costas. The queue was quite big, off course it was – it was lunchtime. Once I’d finally received our food and drinks, I went and relieved Leanne from Bella. They seemed to be having a good time together.

Leanne then went and joined the queue. While Leanne was queuing I gave Bella her lunch and encouraged her to tuck in. She loved the fact her little cheese sandwich came in a ladybird box.

Leanne eventually made her way through the queue and returned with her lunch. Leanne had a skinny Latte and a slice of cake and I was going to enjoy my cream tea. I absolutely love a cream tea. I was so excited when I saw they had cream teas on the menu. Can’t beat a scone with cream and jam.

We had a lovely peaceful lunch. Bella quickly finished her sandwich but was still hungry. So I gave her a cake bar to keep her happy. That didn’t last long though. I wasn’t in the mood for Bella to play up during lunch. Bella had got to that point of the weekend when she’d had enough of me. You know we can only put up with each other for so long before we are over it. At home we would normally get on with our own thing in separate rooms. However on a weekend away we can’t really get away from each other. So the bad mum in me came out and I gave Bella the iPad. I don’t agree with doing it, I don’t like doing it but sometimes Mummy needs half an our peace.

Leanne and I enjoyed our lunch in peace while Bella carried on playing her little games on the iPad. Leanne and I chatted and discussed what we wanted to do next.

Once we finished lunch we headed back down through the castle grounds and over the accessible entrance into the castle. That was a much easier way to get into the castle. No pushing a pram up a huge hill. We had a look around the rest of the central courtyard.

We decided there wasn’t much we wanted to look at or could with a toddler who was not going to enjoy climbing steps. So instead of hanging around we headed out the other side of the castle and over to the maze. Bella decided she didn’t want anything to do with me so she insisted on walking down the hill holding Leanne’s hand. I do love how Bella builds her own little relationships with my friends. It’s lovely that my two worlds can collide.

The maze at Warwick Castle is a Horrible History themed maze. As we walked into the entrance there was this stack of maze passports. I told Bella to go grab one. It’s a bit like those Sealife Centre passports. We weren’t too sure what we were walking into. When we started walking into the maze we thought it was just that – a maze with just a horrible history theme but it wasn’t.

When you first walk in you come to a huge sign post which I guess is stood in the middle of the maze. On it, it has the six areas of history that you need to visit. It turns out the little passport is exactly like the Sealife Centre ones. You have to make your way round the maze to every time period and get a stamp. Once you have all six stamps you need to find the exit and then find one of the areas where you can collect your prize.

Off Leanne and Bella went in search of their first stamp.

The first area we managed to find was the Terrifying Tudors. Bella was actually willing to go and stand in the stocks so we could take a picture of her.

We stamped her passport and headed off to the next time zone.

The next one we came across was the Vicious Vikings. There were various shields and weapons lying about. In the centre sat the stamp. We stamped Bella’s passport and then headed off to the next area.

The next time zone we stumbled upon was the Slimy Stuarts. They had one of those prison line up height charts and Leanne lined Bella and I up against it so we could have our photo taken.

It was a little cramp in the Slimy Stuarts. There were barrels stacked up everywhere that you had to weavy through to find the stamp. We eventually found it but sadly it was broken so Leanne drew a smiley face on Bella’s passport so we knew we had visited it.

We were getting the hang of this now. We could see some sand bags through the bushes so we guessed that was one of the other zones. We weaved our way round and ended up in the Frightful First World War. There were little periscopes dotted around in this section and if you looked through them you could see the naughty rat that had muddled all the time zones up.

It was pretty crowded in this zone. We seemed to have stumbled upon a large group of scouts, beavers and cubs all on a day out. We left them to it once we had managed to get our stamp.

The next time zone we found was the Stormin’ Normans. Bella and Leanne had got this stamping thing down to an art now. They knew exactly how to do it. Luckily this time we’d seem to have lost the scouts so we didn’t have to wait too long to use the stamper.

We had five stamps and were now off to find our sixth and final stamp. Then we could go and get Bella’s prize.

We eassily found the last time zone which was the Measly Middle Ages. This time we also found a lot of scouts, beavers and cubs again. They were however very sweet and discussed the order they were going to stamp and made sure they let Bella stamp hers. Leanne helped one of them stamp their passport before she did Bella’s. Leanne had gotten into stamping the passports I had to remind her not to break the little wooden table the stamp was sat on as she was pushing down on it. I just had images of her snapping the table in half.

We had received all our stamps and now it was time to make our way our the maze. It turns out the maze has two exits. One for children and one for adults. The adult’s is a nice clear, straight path out the maze. The children’s however has obstacles down it.

We gave Bella the chose of which exit she wanted to use as I would have to help her to exit via the children’s exit. Luckily she chose the nice clear adult’s exit – no climbing for me today.

We made our way out of the maze and into this really pretty arch of trees. Leanne and I discussed how pretty it would look all lit up in the winter. As we were making our way into the arch Leanne took a lovely photo of Bella and I together.

We had finished all we wanted to do at the castle today. We have discussed coming back in the future during the summer when it’s warmer and there’s more activities on. We walked back up the hill towards the entrance and courtyard and most importantly the shop.

As we walked up the hill we took a few final photos of the castle and Leanne took a photo of Bella and I in front of the castle.

It’s so nice to have that and not have to ask. I feel like I’m being such a pain when I have to say, hey, do you mind taking a photo of me and Bella here or doing this. But it’s the only way I actually ever manage to get any photos of us together. I need to do it more often though. I love looking back at photos but it makes me so sad that I’m hardly in any. I don’t want Bella growing up with only a few photos of me and her together when I’ve had the guts to say to someone take this photo. I just wish people would just do it. I mean we all walk around with perfectly good cameras in our pockets and bags and it’s not as if people never use their phones so just be nice without having to say anything. Oh well I guess people will just have to get sick of me going take a photo of me, take a photo of me!

We made our way into the courtyard shop at the best time. It had just started to rain so we were able to go straight inside and stay dry.

We had a look around the shop but nothing seemed to really be taking Bella’s interest. I got my traditional squashed penny and then we left the shop to ask the ticket office where we could pick up Bella’s prize from the maze. As we walked over I read the fine print on her passport and discovered we could pick up her prize from any of the shops. So I took Bella back in the shop with me to get her prize while Leanne waited outside with the pram.

While I was waiting in the queue to get to the till Bella kept playing with a mace which were stored in various barrels by the till. I gave in and let her have one as they were extremely reasonably priced compared to similar items she’d been looking at at Hever castle.

We soon made it to the front of the queue and paid for Bella’s mace and picked up her prize. She received a little Horrible Histories badge. She didn’t really care too much about that. Instead she left the shop proudly carrying her mace. Although she did insist on holding the mace by the spikey ball end rather than the handle, but we’ll teach her which end she needs to hold. I think she thinks it’s a sword with a fancy handle. Bless her.

We walked back to the car along the long windy path. When we made it too the car we sorted ourselves out ready for the long drive home. I changed my boots back to my comfortable uggs as my feet were killing. The boots I was wearing maybe slightly more water proof but they hurt. Bella settled into her seat with her toys, an apple and I popped the TV on for her and Leanne settled into the front seat complaining how cold she was,

We had had a good day at the castle. It was definitely worth the journey. I’m looking forward to our next girly trip. Weekends like this are definitely needed and are good for the soul.

The journey home was pretty easy. We stopped at Milton Keynes services so we could top up on fuel and stop and grab a hot drink – Costa of course. Then it was the long slog home.

We briefly stopped at Clacket Lane services so we could have a rest stop and also grab some dinner as it was that time of the day. We’d managed to avoid it all weekend but Leanne mentioned McDonalds and that was it. I was in there buying up half the menu. At least Bella happily munched on her Happy Meal as we drove the rest of the way home.

We dropped Leanne off safely back home and then it was our turn. Home to bed for us.

Until the next set of Travel Blogs.

Love CiCi x

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